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Priory Street Baths

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dutchman
Spon End
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1 of 35  Sat 11th Feb 2012 12:35pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3022

I've moved my reply to NormK to a new thread to avoid dragging the original thread off-topic.
On 11th Feb 2012 12:10pm, NormK said: ....the swimming pool must have taken a direct hit during the war because there was a tree growing in the deep end, there is a pic somewhere will see if i can sort it out...
Yes Norm, the baths were very badly damaged (but not totally destroyed) during the war. (I once explored the ruins). They could have been restored to their original glory but an executive decision was taken to construct entirely new baths instead.
Priory Street Baths
mattash
Rugby
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2 of 35  Sat 11th Feb 2012 12:51pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:597

The Priory St baths remained open as slipper baths until the Primrose Hill baths were opened. This was also one of my playgrounds. There was an opening somewhere on the bottom left of last pic where you could gain entrance to the boiler room. Somewhere nice and warm to play until you were spotted and chased away. Also to the right, the Sherbourne ran alongside. Often remember seeing it full of snow after the council had tipped it there to melt away. Lol Where do you get all these pics from. Oh my Big grin
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dutchman
Spon End
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3 of 35  Sat 11th Feb 2012 1:13pm  
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I believe it was also used for public functions long after the war? This is a view of the frontage from the 1950s:
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herberts lad
Exhall
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4 of 35  Sat 11th Feb 2012 1:16pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:72

We lived in a house with no bathroom, my bathtime at Priory Street was one I really looked forward to. Big bath, red hot water and white fluffy towels. When you went outside you were glowing and felt fit as a fiddle. We used Primrose Hill Street baths as well.
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NormK
bulkington
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5 of 35  Sat 11th Feb 2012 2:08pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:853

Dutchman came up with the goods again, your photos are better than the one I have, mine shows my brother pretending to dive in when we first started the job. The chimney was something else, we nibbled away at the bottom with air tools while 2 of us kept watch for any movement and when it started to go we dropped everything and ran like hell, it broke in half on the way down and the top half very nearly stood there but went over after a short pause. There was a picture in the Telegraph at the time.
Milly rules

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flapdoodle
Coventry
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6 of 35  Mon 13th Feb 2012 12:50am  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:835

Interesting picture, Dutchman. That looks like an Edwardian building to me. Where was it? When was it demolished? A frontage like that could have been reused - and these days probably would be.
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dutchman
Spon End
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7 of 35  Mon 13th Feb 2012 1:17am  
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It was in Pool Meadow on the opposite side of Fairfax Street to what are now the new baths. I don't remember the decorative frontage being there in the 1960s, only the derelict pools behind. What was striking was the huge expanse of tiles which remained. Some were missing, true, but they could have easily been replaced and the pools made watertight again. At the time I was taking long bus journeys to Livingstone Road Baths so the discovery of a former swimming pool practically on my doorstep came as a huge surprise. Oh my
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mattash
Rugby
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8 of 35  Mon 13th Feb 2012 9:20am  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:597

On the last pic of of the ruins of the swimming baths, if you look carefully to the right, you can just make out the gantry which spanned the Sherbourne. This was a steel dam which could be lowered to dam up the Sherbourne, raising the water level to about 3ft for the fire brigade to use. Thumbs up
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heritage
Bedworth
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9 of 35  Mon 13th Feb 2012 10:09am  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:374

Does anyone, besides me, remember the Lanchester College of Technology (long before it became a university) using the site as a temporary car park in the early 1960s. I'm sure that we drove down quite a steep slope into what could have been the pool area or is my memory playing tricks? Thinking about it the parking space was probably too close to the road to have been the pool.
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mattash
Rugby
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10 of 35  Mon 13th Feb 2012 10:18am  
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No, you are right. There was a temp carpark. I also used this carpark sometimes when I went to the Art School in Ford St on day release circa 1965. At the back of the ruined Triumph building was waste ground, the college was the other side of the road (I think the road is still there), it was here the council used for storing its rock salt for the winter. I think this is where the pool is positioned and the main part of the swimming baths is over the old building. Only trouble is, somewhere in the back of my mind, it is saying the carpark was more at the back end of the Cathedral? Just thought I would add, the carpark attendant would let us park for free as we were apprentices, nice man. Smile
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dutchman
Spon End
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11 of 35  Mon 13th Feb 2012 12:53pm  
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On 13th Feb 2012 10:18am, mattash said: I think this is where the pool is positioned and the main part of the swimming baths is over the old building.
No way I'm afraid Mattash. This picture from 1962 shows the new baths being constructed entirely on the south side of the river with the old baths still intact on the north side. The river was culverted the following year and became Fairfax Street. In other words the two buildings were always on opposite sides of what is now Fairfax Street. The gap between the old baths and Cox Street was the Midland Red coach station: There's a bigger version of the same picture here showing the Lanchester to the left of the construction site.
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mattash
Rugby
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12 of 35  Mon 13th Feb 2012 1:13pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:597

Hello Dutchman, I prob did not explain very well. Just had a look on the map and the road which I could not remember was Cope St. The college was on one side, the council used the other side for storing the grit and then the Triumph factory. Then in the ground between the factory and the Sherbourne were where the old air-raid shelters were. Also that's why I said in the back of my head the carpark was at the back of the Cathedral, because there was a very high wall at the back of it, Where the DeVere was, is or whatever is there now. The pic you have just put on is as I remember it where the baths are now. To add. The DeVere was under construction in 1967, and or the carpark, I know this because I had to buy a wedding ring at 9am, as soon as Samuels opened, as I was getting married at 9am. So I was late for my wedding and had to drive thru the building site steering round all the foundation holes, much to the amusement of the workers. I was late for my wedding but the bride was with me so it didn't matter Lol Big grin Thumbs up 45yrs ago 4th March next month Roll eyes
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dutchman
Spon End
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13 of 35  Mon 13th Feb 2012 1:36pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3022

Purely for reference this is a segment of map showing the position of the old baths relative to the surrounding area:
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dutchman
Spon End
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14 of 35  Mon 13th Feb 2012 1:57pm  
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On 13th Feb 2012 1:13pm, mattash said: Then in the ground between the factory and the Sherbourne were where the old air-raid shelters were.
Hi Mattash Wave I remember playing in some small underground concrete bunkers connected by tunnels, both to each other and to the surface. Could these have been the air-raid shelters to which you refer?
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heritage
Bedworth
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15 of 35  Mon 13th Feb 2012 1:57pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:374

The temporary car park to which I referred was on the site of the baths as shown on the map, but much closer to the road
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